by Tiffany Hyman and Terry Duffy
The American Cancer Society is holding its 13th annual Relay For Life of Lewiston/Niagara today, Saturday, June 12, from noon to midnight on the running track of Lewiston-Porter High School, 4061 Creek Road, in Youngstown.
Residents are welcome to participate in this event that helps raise money toward fighting cancer. Tami Gabri, director of special events for the ACS, reports that more than 500 volunteers, students and members of the community are expected to join together to honor those who have lost their lives to cancer, the survivors' caregivers, and celebrate those who survived cancer. Among the many volunteers are the on-site food fundraisers: Lewiston-Niagara-on-the-Lake Rotary, the Lewiston Service Guild, Mander's Tinkerbells, the Lewiston Kiwanis Aktion Club, Lew-Port PEC, Ben's Buddie's, Northern Lights and ACS.
This year's theme is "Relay Through the Ages: Celebrate, Remember, Fight Back." Highlights of today's Relay include:
At this writing, there are 236 participants sponsored in the Relay, 30 teams, and $29,778.78 raised thus far for the American Cancer Society. Community members of all ages are invited to attend the event and help to raise money.
Dressbarn clothing store is among those helping out by contributing sales to the American Cancer Society. They are selling the Hope Bracelet for $5 and will donate $2.50 from the bracelet sales. In 2009, Dressbarn and Maurices clothing stores teamed up and raised $710,000 towards the ACS. They anticipate to raise even more this year, including with the sales of the Hope Bracelet.
For organizers Jacqueline Bollinger, who serves as team recruitment chair, and Michelle Fleck, co-chair of this year's Relay, this event brings special meaning.
"As a one-year survivor, I Relay for those who can't," says Bollinger, who has overcome stage ii triple negative breast cancer. "I walk for the women I know who lost their fight, and the mothers of young children who struggle to live."
"I Relay so that I will not see anymore children making Luminaria bags for their parents," says Fleck. "Throughout (Relay), I learned all about the event and met lots of exceptional people. ... For the Luminaria ceremony ... I walked the track and observed all of the decorated bags. I noticed two girls sitting next to a Luminaria they decorated in memory of their father. That is when I made the decision that I would do everything in my power so that there would be no more girls decorating Luminaria bags for their fathers, or any children or family members."
Both invite the community to be part of something special by attending today's Relay at Lewiston-Porter.
For more information, contact Gabri at 689-6982, ext. 111, or visit [email protected].